HENK00063U  English - Free topic 3: (Beyond) Post-Colonial and Post-Modern Literatures in English

Volume 2018/2019

What is happening on the literary scene in the twenty-first century? What direction(s) are the literatures in English taking? Have we irrevocably moved beyond what we might conceivably call the traditions of post-colonial and postmodern writing? Is there something new in the making?

These are some of the questions we will address and discuss in this course module:


(Beyond) Post-Colonial Literatures in English(Ulla Rahbek)

With a focus on world literature in English, this course will explore currents trends in transnational writing that demand a reconsideration of what it means to be a subject at home in a complexly intertwined world that cannot be traced back to Britain’s role as a colonial centre.


(Beyond) Post-Modern Literatures in English(Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt)

With a focus on English and American novels, this course will discuss what appears to be a current re-orientation of the postmodern project towards narratives that turn on character development, coherence between form and content, and overtly probe tone and style – but with a twist.

(Beyond) Post-Colonial Literatures in English

Very preliminary reading list:

3 novels, 3 sets of stories:

André Aciman, Call me by your Name (2007) [Jewish-Egyptian-American]

Elif Shafak, Three Daughters of Eve (2016) [Turkish plus]

Dina Nayeri, Refuge (2017) [Iranian-American plus]

Nam Le, ‘Love and Honor..’ and ‘The Boat’ from The Boat (2008) [Vietnamese-Australian plus]

Xiaolu Guo, short stories[Chinese-British plus]

Yiyun Li, ‘Son’? or ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayer’ (both from Prayers, 2005)? Or ‘Souvenir’ (from Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, 2010)? And ‘To Speak is to Blunder but I Venture’, extract from her memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in YourLife (2017)  [Chinese-American]

Homi K. Bhabha, ‘The World and the Home’ (1992)

Pengh Cheah, ‘What is a World?’ (2008)

Bill Ashcroft, ‘Alternative Modernities: Globalization and the Post-Colonial’ (2009)

Robert Young, ‘Postcolonial Remains’ (2012)


(Beyond) Post-Modern Literatures in English

Selected narrative texts by such writers as Jonathan Safran Foer, Paul Auster and Nicole Krauss.

Jeremy Green, Late Postmodernism: American Fiction at the Millennium, NY:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

David James and Urmila Seshagiri, "Metamodernism: Narratives of Continuity and Revolution", PMLA 129.1 (2014): 87-97

Brian McHale, "Afterword: Reconstructing Postmodernism", Narrative, vol.21, No. 3 (October 2013): 357-364

Andrew Hoberek, "Introduction: After Postmodernism", Twentieth Century Literature, vol. 53, No. 3 (Fall 2007): 233-247

Mary K. Holland, "Writing Postmodern Humanism" in Succeeding Postmodernism. Language and Humanism in Contemporary American Literature, NY: Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 1-23

The module is taught in two seven-week blocks beginning with “(Beyond) Post-Colonial Literatures in English” (Ulla Rahbek) and then "(Beyond) Post-Modern Literatures in English” (Inge Birgitte Siegumfeldt) in the second half.
This course only leads to exams Free Topic 1, Free Topic 2 and Free Topic 3.
Type of assessment
Portfolio, Portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline June 12th 2019
First: 2 essays (5-7 pages) during and ending part one (each counting 25 % of the final grade)
Then: student conference at the end of part two (counts 50 % of the final grade).
Exam registration requirements

This course only leads to exams Free Topic 1, Free Topic 2 and Free Topic 3.

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5